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battery powered ac on a sailboat

Air Conditioning on A Sailboat? Yes, and It’s Battery Powered too!

Air Conditioning on a sailboat is a luxury. Especially when we’re at anchor and running everything off solar and battery power.  So, naturally, we get asked about keeping cool on the hook…a lot.

In our last video about sailing with family, I asked Jason’s sister Lauren “how was it coming from a typical house to sleeping in a boat with no air conditioning?”.  This question caused a ton of confused comments on why we didn’t run our A/C for the family.  Fair enough.

The short answer is, we did run the A/C for short stints, but not overnight.  The complete answer to that question is hashed out in the video below.  So….click that play button!

Kinda cool right?!  Ok, now about those details.

Here’s a quick recap of what we covered in the video:

  • Why didn’t you run the A/C?  We did in the afternoons, when the sun was high (and our solar panels were bringing in lots o’ power to the batteries). It was the hottest part of the day and it’s o-so-nice to circulate air and bring down humidity.
  • Why not run the A/C overnight?  We don’t have enough battery power to run the A/C all night and keep up with all the other power demands of the boat.  (It’s a challenge to manage resources with 5 additional people who are not accustomed to living with limited resources).
  • Why not run the generator?  10 hours of generator uses about 5 gallons of fuel. That fuel consumption adds up fast and requires us to service the generator more often.  Not to mention there were no fuel stations where we were anchored.  Conserving fuel, parts and our limited resources is important while living off the grid, especially in remote places.
  • How do we run the A/C off our batteries?  Short answer is, we installed an Easy Start.

How We Run Our Sailboats Air Conditioning off Battery Power

If you want to run the A/C while you’re living off the grid and on the hook, there’s a few things to consider:

  • A/C’s use a ton of power. You’ll need a big battery bank to run the A/C for any reasonable length of time.  We have a beefy 1200 Amp hours of lithium battery power.  More on lithium batteries: gonewiththewynns.com/sailboat-tech-why-lithium-batteries
  • Replenish the battery bank.  Our 1400 watts of solar has the potential to replenish most of the A/C’s consumption during peak sun hours. But conditions must be perfect, and we need to limit the other electronics we use while the Air Conditioning is on.  More on our solar set up here: gonewiththewynns.com/living-off-grid-rv-sailboat
  • Inverters have a “surge” or “peak” load.  You’ll need to look at the “locked rotor amps” of the A/C to determine if your inverter (or generator/shore power connection) can handle the surge.  Our Cruisair 16,000 BTU A/C states it has a peak of 70 amps when the compressor kicks on. Our inverter can handle a max of 60 amps (noted as “Peak Output Current” from the manufacturer spec sheet). So, the surge from the A/C is greater than what our inverter can handle.  Plus, that kind of surge is harsh…there are additional benefits to softening the blow (puns intended!).  More on our inverter here: gonewiththewynns.com/product/2000-watt-inverter

For reference here are a few common inverters and their claimed peak amps:

  • GoPower! IC2000 – 60 amps
  • Magnum MS2012 – 50 amps
  • Xantrex PROsine 1800 – 45 amps

We’re not reinventing the wheel.  This type of power surge is a common problem with all different types of compressors and pumps. That’s how we found the Easy Start. The RV air conditioner manufacturer told us it was the solution to our “surge” issue.  The Easy Start is a device that gets attached to the A/C and reduces the surge of power (as you saw in the video).  An Easy Start can be used to run an Air Conditioner (or other compressor or pump) off a small generator (like the Honda 2000), low quality (or low amperage) shore power, or through an inverter for off grid solutions (like tiny homes, RVs and boats).

When we were outfitting Curiosity we knew we wanted to install the Easy Start on our A/C units.  It’s been almost 2 years now and we haven’t had any issues on or off the hook.  Ok, maybe one issue: Jason dreams of adding even more battery power (keep dreaming honey).

But, in all honesty we don’t run the A/C that often.  When we do, we throw on a scarf and pretend we’re on one of those fancy super yachts.  But mainly, it’s to take the edge off of the peak heat of the day and help control the humidity (aka, the mold).

Discount Code For You!

This is NOT a paid plug or sponsored video. Easy Start didn’t ask us to create any of this, we asked Matteo for his help . Not only did he help us out, he was able to score you a discount. And, as cherry on top, we get a couple of bucks too as a referral.  It’s a win-wynn!  Thanks Matteo!

If you have any questions at all leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to answer.  If it’s a technical question we can’t answer, there’s a good chance Matteo will chime in.

How Long Can We Run The A/C Off Battery Power?

We ran a very quick test to give you some real use numbers as we were filming this video.  This isn’t an in depth test and it is always going to vary as weather conditions change.  For example: How hot is it outside vs what temp we have the A/C set at.  Is the compressor running the whole time or cycling on and off.  How many other electronic devices are running…you get the point.  All of this makes a huge difference in how long we can run the A/C.

  • 9AM – Turn A/C on, set for 77°.  Outside it’s mostly cloudy and 80°.  Batteries are at 67.6% (-388 AMP Hours Down)
  • 12PM – Turn A/C off.  Outside it’s partly sunny and 83°.  Batteries are at 50.7% (-589 AMP Hours Down)
  • After 3 hours of running the A/C, we were down -201 AMP Hours

Important to note – We were not running the A/C hard and it was cycling on and off.  Fans, refrigerator, freezer and our computers were all running.  This typically draws about 15-25 AMPs per hour.  Our solar was bringing in some power (around 30-50 AMPs per hour).  Putting all this together plus our past two years experience (especially on much hotter days), we are guessing on average the A/C pulls about 115 AMPs per hour.

The Big Takeaway – With our 1200 Amp hours of lithium battery power and 1400 watts of solar, we can easily run the A/C for a couple of hours in the early afternoon and the solar power coming in will top our batteries back up before the sun goes down.

Gear Used In This Video

 

That’s it.  Thanks for watching, reading and being a part of the adventure.  If you liked this post/video, do us a huge favor and share it!  Send it by email, share it on facebook or twitter or simply tell a friend.  It helps us out tremendously.  See ya on Sunday.

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (70)

  • John

    So, when you are hooked up to shore power does the AC unit pull power from the battery charger?
    I want to do something like this and didnt know if i should run a 3 way switch of some kind.

    Thank you for posting the video and all the info btw! Helping a lot of us out!
    Greatly appreciated

    reply
    • Curious Minion

      If you have a hybrid inverter it could pull power from your batteries if the shore connection isn’t supplying enough power. If you don’t have a hybrid inverter then no, your system should either be pulling power from the shore connection OR the batteries. I wouldn’t recommend trying to DIY a 3-way switch without an electrician. You could seriously damage your system if it isn’t done correctly.

      reply
  • Connie Baker

    I live in hot, humid Wilmington, NC, and am planning a voyage of sorts: I have several rare health issues not well treated in-state and plan to live in my van while traveling to medical trials in Boston; Rochester, NY; Rochester, MN; St Louis in a 2002 Sienna Van. The essentials I must have in the van are:

    AC 460 Watts/hour cooling, 4 Amperes cooling, max 115 Volts;
    Bipap run 8 hours at night 80 Watts/ hour, 2-1 Amperes, 100-240 Volts/ hour;
    Chest Freezer 14.64 ,Watts/hour run 24/7, 3-4 Amps at start then1.5, 120 V;
    Surface Pro docking station adapter 48 Watt 4 Amp run variably during the day 120-240 V

    I’m pulling out the carpet and panels, covering the windows with reflextix, wrapping the interior behind the front seats with 3 inches polyiso (save pop out panels for the back vent windows). The AC will be bolted under sunroof with a plastic bin cut and sealed around to catch and channel condensation and rain.

    Will start with Relion batteries, charged at electric car charging stations. As finances allow add two LG350Q1C-A5 350 Watt solar panels on the roof racks…still requiring batteries to be topped off regularly. A generator in the minivan can present space and venting issue but on a trailer can be stolen and then the hassle of a trailer can make life complicated. The max tongue wt is 100 lbs, which is miniscule.

    To take the first step of a thousand step journey, I need to decide the amount of batteries I need. I wrestle with that heart-stopping cost of the batteries like everyone else here. Should I stop before I get started? Am I unrealistic? I know the AC watts are for 95 F outdoor temp. How many hours of that am I to anticipate on my northward journey? The range of possibilities with that variable alone confounds me. Can someone offer wisdom on this?

    Of note, I have a spaniel, Jimmie, who will need the comfort of the AC even if I’m not in the van. And you have never seen a dog who can communicate his temperature requirements when he is riding shotgun. Its hysterical, He usually gets the lion’s share of the vents pointed at him. Cleo the cat seems more adaptable.

    Connie

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  • JW

    Hi, Jason & Nikki. I’m really curious about the overall amp usage per 24 hour period. As I watched the video on a/c with the amp clamp I wondered just how much DC juice you use a day. With the amp clamp I wondered if that was AC amps or DC amps being monitored. When I use my air it is in AC and via the battery monitor it turns into almost 150 amps DC being pulled out of the batteries. I currently have 875 amp hours of battery and just over 1030 watts of solar and I still have to watch the pull out of the inverter when I want air conditioning or to run the dehumidifier for a long stretch. So naturally from all your videos I see a ton of AC appliances and I’m curiously as to the daily usage. You give me something to shoot for. Keep it up. I just came north from the canal to see what all the ruckus was over the West Coast. Have a safe crossings.

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  • Christine

    Wonderful video. Props to Matteo. I worked with electrical engineers for 20 years and have never seen such a succinct, informative and logical explanation. Plus, amazing that you built that device. You should do TED talks!
    Thank you again, Nikki and Jason.

    reply
  • Kevin Merrithew

    So my question is a little different. My question is about a 110v 15amp water pump at my off grid cabin. I run a 4000 watt Aims inverter with a 16000 surge. The inverter has plenty of grunt for the pump. But the Trojan batteries I have struggle in the winter when the pump starts. They don’t seem to release the amps when cold. The inverter see this as a low voltage situation and shuts down. Would this soft start work for my normal wall outlet pump? And how would I wire it up? Thanks for any help you can give. Also if this would work, where do I order one?

    reply
    • Curious Minion

      I’m sure Mateo or Jason will chime in here but it sounds more like an issue with your batteries – I’m assuming they’re lead acid or AGM? A soft start won’t hurt but I don’t think it’ll solve your problem. The voltage may be too low in your batteries or you may not have a heavy enough gauge wire between your batteries and the inverter. Keeping the batteries warmer should also help but I don’t know if that’s feasible.

      reply
    • Hello Kevin. Thank you for your question. The short answer is “likely yes”. Given you stated that the inverter normally does have enough surge capacity to source the starting needs of your water pump, and that its only a cold weather situation that causes problems, our estimates are that EasyStart would alleviate the AC surge, thus the DC battery surge requirement, thus making it work. The trouble is, wiring an EasyStart into a single-phase pump motor is often very challenging. This is because pump motors don’t “present” their individual motor winding connections quite as easily as do air conditioner compressors. In such motors, it is often very difficult to isolate the run winding connection, and also to locate and defeat the start winding centrifugal switch and start cap, without completely disassembling the motor and having the manufacturer’s *internal* wiring diagram available as a guide. EasyStarts have been installed into motors like this with success multiple times, but not without a lot of prep work, patience, and perseverance. I’ve talked a lot of customers out of attempting it, especially if they are not willing to do the up front research and if they are at all uncomfortable with electrical wiring.

      I would therefore recommend that you get a detailed photo of the motor’s dataplate label and e-mail it to me. If we can find the motor’s internal wiring diagram online, then and only then would I recommend that you proceed and perhaps invest in an EasyStart. Please send an inquiry to us via our website, and I will respond to you.

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  • Solarsail

    Nikki and Jason – I think it is about time to think about the 48V DC standard and do away with 12V and 110VAC. 24V has become a standard, and the next step is 48V, which is catching on. It is easier to build a 48V (or 24V) lithium-ion battery than 12V, so in the future 48V batteries will be cheaper than 12V as the cables will be a quarter thinner than 12V and the BMS will be simpler.

    The big advantage of 48V is that it allows for high power e-drives (such as the 20 hp (10kW) Torqueedo 48V retractable pod drive), bow/stern thrusters, and electric cooktop and AC. However, eventually e-drives will move to 96V DC and then to the EV standard of 345V DC.

    So I recommend looking into the 48V DC standard for air conditioning, cooking, hot water heaters, water maker, lithium-ion batteries, and solar chargers.

    reply
  • Kevin F

    The Easy Start states can support both 115 and 230VAC motors. The first scroll option says “115V-only RV A/C”. The other three options do not state voltage at all. So does this mean any of those other three is the one needed for 230VAC. I am not able to find the difference between all those four options of -X20-IP; -X36-IP; -E36-IP; or -T36-IP. Was hoping to find it in FAQ, but didnt.

    reply
    • Hello Kevin. Thank you for your comment. The difference in the EasyStart 364 variants is as follows:

      ASY-364-X20-IP = For up 20kBTU systems that run on 115VAC/60Hz only (RV applications)
      ASY-364-X36-IP = For up to 36kBTU systems that run on 115-240VAC/50-60Hz (marine or RV applications)
      ASY-364-T36-IP = For systems smaller than 10kBTU that run on 115-240VAC/50-60Hz
      ASY-364-E36-IP = For refrigeration system applications that run on 115-240VAC/50-60Hz

      The specialized model variants were introduced for specialized applications. The -X36-IP is the primary model, but we made the -X20-IP to shave off a few dollars for the RV market application.

      reply
  • Brian Litz

    So I know very little about electricity, but was confused by Jason’s closing comment. The surge load of your inverter is 60 amps and at the end he stated you were pulling 87amps. How does that work?

    reply
    • Hello Brian. Thank you for your comment. Sorry for the confusion on the amperage readouts. The measurements taken at the air conditioning unit itself were the AC amps at 120VAC, whereas the amps reported by the Xantrex meter were on the other (battery) side of the inverter. The Xantrex meter reports the amps going out (or into) the batteries at 12VDC. Remember, the inverter itself is converting 12VDC to 120VAC. Roughly speaking, the amps on the 12VDC battery side are 10 times the amps on the 120VAC side. This is because wattage is conserved (i.e. is about the same), assuming the inverter has perfect efficiency (which it does not, so there are some losses). So, in other words, 120VAC x 10A is 1200W, and that corresponds roughly to 12VDC x 100A on the battery side, which is also 1200W. Yes, the battery currents seem very high as a result, but that’s why inverters have such huge cable connections from the batteries! I hope this helps explain it.

      reply
  • Andy

    Great video. But my question is, wouldn’t an inverter driven air conditioner compressor be more efficient than putting on an easy start on an on/off cycling conventional compressor? I believe you get the same benefit of no spike current and extra benefit of matching varying thermal load more closely and reducing overall battery drawn down. Hope someone knows more about this than I do.

    reply
  • Bruce

    Great video guys. The information here is priceless. This is my first time to post, but We have been watching your videos for quite some time. We are closing on a Manta 42 catamaran on Tuesday in Florida, and will be taking her to Kemah Texas (currently home) to prepare for our retirement voyage in about two years. Our smallest AC unit is 10,000 BTU, and happens to feed the two aft cabins ( I think) So, the information in this video will sure come in handy. Keep up the good work, and maybe we will cross paths one day. One Texan to another …..dilly dilly…haha

    reply
  • Will bush

    What most people (I’m one of them) need is a breeze when you can’t run the AC. We have 4 small fans that run on 4 D batteries which we can put by our heads and works perfect in warm nights where we may not have power;we even used them in our home during hurricanes when power went out. You guest would be happy just for a breeze when no AC.

    reply
    • Kevin F

      It also depends on the environment. Like when I lived in Tampa, FL for couple years. Fan did hardly nothing. Typical day was about 80F or low 80’s. Think in all my time living there, think max I seen was 88F or maybe 89F, but it always felt like it was in 100’s. Fans were not much help, cause it is not the temp that you needed cooling down from. Temp itself was not that bad. Humidity is what made it feel so bloody hot, and a fan did not really help this much at all. People survived in Tampa by going from AC to AC .. either that or sweating horribly, fan or no fan. Ofc in FL they use sump pump AC’s, main purpose is cycle on/off frequently for short periods of time, but draws out lot of water (humidity) from the air. They typically had huge water basin under AC to collect all that water and drain outside. Sailors like to visit such tropical locations it seems.

      reply
  • John Ward

    Hello guys , 1st time to write about your blog. Battery AC.
    looking for the email of The guy Mateio. He had a very
    accurate Amp meter I want to find out about. Can you help?

    reply
    • Hi John. Thank you for the question. Don’t laugh, but I built that ammeter out of one of our own Micro-Air marine thermostat controls (the Dometic/Marine Air Systems Passport I/O) and an open-core 100A/0-5VDC current transducer from a company called ACI. It was a “side project” so to speak. Given I wrote firmware for the PPIO display for some of our other products, I modified it to read the current signal, real-time from this ACI transducer about once ever 150us, perform the necessary RMS averaging at high-speed, and then picking out the highest three 60Hz AC alternations (i.e. a moving 50ms averaging window). It’s the next best thing to using an oscilloscope with a clamp-on current probe and measuring the actual waveforms. Unfortunately, that current meter exists only in my lab in FL and there is another one in the lab back in our factory in NJ. We never thought of “productizing” it for commercial sale, but if you were interested, we might be able to help you out. Contact me by sending an inquiry via our website at http://www.microair.net.

      reply
    • Hi John. Thanks for your question. That ammeter I used aboard Curiosity was a “home-grown side-project” done by me, made out of one of our OEM marine thermostat controls, combined with an open-core current transducer from a company called ACI. There are only 2 in existence. It takes RMS measurements of current about once every 150us, and continually monitors a 50ms moving average window (50ms = three 60Hz AC sinusoids), searching for the highest RMS current peak. It’s the next best thing to using an oscilloscope and analyzing the waveform. Unfortunately, although it works amazingly well, we have never made this contraption into a commercial product. If you’re still interested, please send an e-mail inquiry via the Micro-Air website.

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      • James C

        Thank you for those awesome explanations. I find that very fascinating.

        reply
  • lindsay

    Hi there just a few coments on your charging systems that may help, your alternators will put out more amps if you change to a external regulator. Example we have litium batteries on our boat with 120 amp alternator when we first installed it through the regulator at 2000 revs we were putting out 135amps so we installed a suppressor (very cheap) so to cut the ams back to 95 amps at 2300rpm so not to overheat the allternator so at cruising revs 1700 we are putting inapprox 75 to 80 amps allternator runs cool at that amps i see you have portable heat sensor to check temp on a along run. Our lithium batteries has a managment system because lithium batteries will accecpt what ever amps you throw at them the managment system was built by a good freind of ours (lectronics wizzard) he has installed this system in a number of yachts with great success. Regarding a bigger battery bank, bigger battery bank means bigger charging capacty which is what you are trying to avoid best to just improve what you have. I would suggest going to 120 amp allternators with external quality regulators, 120 amp allternators can still be run with your current v belts. Then you would be putting in around 160amps while motoring. Do you have amanagment system so not to over charge or run batteries to flat . Hope this helps cheers.l

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  • Will this easy start work with 110v watermakers running on an inverter? We have a rainman 110v that draws 1250 watts after the inital surge. How do you wire that in?

    reply
    • Hi Alex. Thanks for your question. Yes, the EasyStart has been installed with success into the high-pressure pumps on RO watermakers. We have a marine watermaker OEM that builds EasyStarts into their systems. The only difficulty is accessing the necessary wires in your particular motor. Unlike an A/C compressor, a frame motor like is used on a watermaker does not “present” its common, run, and start winding connections quite as readily. It’s always a challenge, and we always advise customers to get the INTERNAL motor wiring diagram from Baldor, Leeson, and WEG motors, BEFORE they purchase the EasyStart. That way we can help advise if it will be feasible or not. Also, most of these motors are 1.5 to 2.5HP, and they use BIG start capacitors. As a result, the EasyStart 368 model is more appropriate since the start capacitor used by the EasyStart often ends up being the same one already installed in the motor. These caps won’t physically fit inside of the EasyStart 364’s IP65 (waterproof) case, but will fit inside the EasyStart 368’s IP65 case.

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  • Funny, I remember your AC land video as I was planning on building my own rig. Here I am a few years later and I am about a year from completion. I do have a question for Matteo: I plan on having a 24V battery bank (about 10 – 15 KW) and about 1.2KW of solar and was hoping to run a 9000 BTU Ductless AC. Anything special besides the soft start to make this work well? I am hoping to get the system in prior to summer travels. BTW, have followed you two for years, thanks for the inspiration. You were the first channel to help push me down my international travel road. Thanks again.

    reply
    • Hi Sean. Thank you for your question. That massive battery bank and big solar should be able to keep a 9kBTU system running almost continuously! Depending on the size (wattage) of your inverter, there is a possibility that you may not even need an EasyStart. In other words, the inverter’s surge capacity may be enough to start the 9kBTU A/C when there are only other light auxiliary loads running. Most 9KBTU units will have an LRA rating down in the 40-45A range, so if your inverter can surge to 5500W or so, you might be okay as is. Let me know what inverter you plan to use and I will let you know if an EasyStart will likely be necessary or not.

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    • Sean Imfeld

      Matteo, thank you for the response to my question. I am planning on using a Victron 8000 Watt inverter/charger.

      reply
      • Sean – with an 8kW inverter, you should be able to start and run a 9kW A/C without an EasyStart. Give it a shot, and if it doesn’t work, you always know where to go to get the solution :-)!

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  • Thank you so much for this video guys. We run a kettlecorn business in the midwest summers and use a eu2000 to provide power. We tried using portable AC but the surge kept flipping the breaker and causing more headaches. Going to try this in the upcoming season. I thought I needed to have a bigger generator.

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  • Sheila Hagadone

    Can you used it on a 5th Wheel RV?

    reply
    • Hi Sheila. Thanks for the question. Yes indeed, you can use EasyStart on your 5th wheel. We have numerous Grand Design owners who have installed them. Check out their owners forum to see. Most 5th wheels have 2 A/Cs. Installing an EasyStart into both will allow you to operate them off of a 30A hook-up instead of having to search for the more elusive and more expensive 50A hook-ups.

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      • Matteo, we are planning to contact Micro-Air to figure out what type of EasyStart might work with our travel trailer. What information/specs do we need to have ready?

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  • Chris Mehling

    Hi Jason and Nikki!
    Wow – you read my mind. I was watching the video and I thought – Hey, don’t you run your A/C on batteries every once in a while? Anyway, this video was awesome and very informative. I do have another somewhat related question for you.

    In a previous video, you said that you would want to get rid of your generator for a few reasons. That really caught me by surprise. With your lithium battery bank and solar, I thought instead you might consider going with electric motors, like what OceanVolt offers. https://oceanvolt.com.

    My question to you is this. Did you ever consider this, or is this technology too new from your point of view for crossing an ocean? Based on the reading I’ve done, they claim to be able to run the electric motors off the generator when needed and appear to get a comparable range versus diesel.

    What are your thoughts?

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  • LauraKuhn

    Thanks for another great video. So glad you are able to do this more technical stuff. I love the travel videos and look forward to them every Sunday! But, these remind me of your old RVing days… nostalgaic… Thanks!!

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  • James Dillon

    Awesome Folks! Jason, Sorry buddy, the hair sucked! You should have been on a tourist canoe in Hawaii or a chef at the Bennie Hannah!! LOL Nikki , you look amazingly gorgeous as usual , however, I saw the “shaming bandages ” of the “amateur” rope burn episode, so long ago!! Keep up the great work guys. It is always a highlight to see the new video! I am a thrilled PATREON. Be safe , happy and well! Greeting from Canada- Jamie

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  • Byron Stuart

    Randy of the cruising website “Happy Together” also occasionally has a how-to session or so for their Leopard-48. Episode 10 is about their checklist for leaving and securing the boat for several weeks at a time. I can recommend it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx-QR7ZnB4A&t=1s
    They also have “soft start”. At time 11:30 in this video Randy talks about the “dehumidify” mode for their AC. This runs the AC unit(s) a bit about every 6 hours or so to keep the dastardly humidity down. MATTEO, is this one (of several) ways of making things more comfortable while living aboard??

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  • Nancy Fernandez

    Great update thanks guys!

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  • Bob and Maureen

    What is the model of your 7k btu unit. We have 520ah and 600w of solar. Would like a picture of the unit, if possible. We currently are in Mexico but heading further south later this year.

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  • Jesse Smith

    Hi I was wondering what would happen if you overloaded you inverter
    Thank

    Jesse

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  • Rob McLennan

    WE learned the hard way about running the generator to power the 2-roof top AC units and keeping our fully stocked refrigerator going. On our first road trip with our new /used 2005 Rexall Rexair 36B gas motorhome. OMG what an expensive 2 week’s 1,200 mile round trip from North Port Fl to Atlanta Ga. The generator had to run 24/7 @ 1 gallon per hour. Gas prices at that time were $3.64 a gallon. With only a 75 gallon gas tank I was running for a fill up every other day. Also the motor home only gets 2-5mpg with a tail wind going down hill. GMC 496 ci engine. The generator also has an auto cutoff at 3/8 of a full tank. $2,180.00 for driving fuel and $1,220 for refrigerator and A/C Units. Almost $3,500 just for fuel! We stayed with family and no one had a 30-50 Amp 120 AC plug-in. I suggest anyone thinking about purchasing a Class A Motor Home to Rent one first! It will be an expensive rental, but if you purchase new could cost you Hundred’s of Thousands!

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    • Brian Litz

      Rob. Harbor freight sells the 30amp to 110 converter for about $10.

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  • Raymond Catania

    Have you ever thought of installing a smaller unit in the master state room and just cooling that alone? On our boat we have a 7k btu and run it all night most nights off the batteries. It also cycles often, which helps. We only have 400ah, and 450w of solar. We have a lot less that we run off the inverter though, most all of our solar goes to the ac and the fridge.

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      • Raymond Catania

        Great point! We spend most of our time in Florida so the a/c really helps in the summer for sure.

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  • Ian F

    Very cool. Jealous of being able to use the ocean as your condensing unit, vs a typical fan cooled system.

    The main load on an AC system is the compressor. The power draw from the blower and (in a land system) condensing fans is minimal. Assuming this system uses a small pump to circulate sea water, it would be a smaller draw as well.

    I will definitely keep one of these in mind, although I’m too early in my build/design process to know what size I’ll need.

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  • Howard White

    copying this comment from YouTube per your recommendation —

    what does it take for you to run your Air Conditioning on Direct Current (too may ACs). Inverters are a major loss point in any power system. Is there anyway you may configure your batteries at higher voltage (48V, 72V or even 96V). The point of AC is transmitting power over distance. Your boat isn’t distance.

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    • Hello Howard. Thank you for the questions. There are some small marine air conditioners on the market that run directly off of 12VDC, but they typically are not much larger than 5000BTU. The Wynn’s need at least one 16k system operating to keep the sleeping cabins cool through the night, and two 16ks to keep the salon cool during the day. Inverters come in all sizes and voltages, and yes there are 24VDC and 48VDC inverters available. That won’t improve the run time and may only slight improve the efficiency. The problem is though that 95% of the other DC loads on the boat want 12V, and the solar panels are 12V, so the bank voltage really needs to be set accordingly.

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  • Tom

    A retro question (sorry): Re: the Panama Locks…do whales, dolphins, and other large animals ever get caught up in the Locks system and end up going from one ocean to the other?

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  • Chris Starnes

    Not sure the question was ever really answered so maybe I can ask it in a different way. Say your batteries had a full charge. How long would it take to deplete the batteries completely just continuously running the AC. Not taking into the fact of the Solar recharge during that time. Just simple math. X amp hours at full charge with a X amp draw will give you X hours of AC.

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    • Hi Chris. Thanks for the question. Jason and I did the math earlier this morning. If nothing else is running at all besides the one 16k A/C and its water pump, the batteries start off fully charged, and no additional charging is coming in from the solar panels (i.e. nighttime), we estimated that their 1200Ah battery bank could run the A/C for about 6 hours. Jason’s estimate in the video corresponds and is wisely more conservative because there are always plenty of other 12V loads in the boat that must stay energized, like bilge pumps, electronics, lighting at night, etc.

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  • Matteo is The Man!

    Matteo: What type of schooling/education program did you go through to learn to do what you do?

    Thanks, and love the channel/blog guys!

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  • Glenn and Isaiah ( my grandson and first mate)

    Curious here. Can you get more “juice?” With more solar and maybe a wind generator? I have no idea. I’m just asking. I am trying to learn all I can too before following in your footsteps. I’m a beginning sailor, not lots of time on the water; if that makes sense. Thank you

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    • Hi Glenn and Isaiah. Thanks for your question. Yes, if the Wynn’s had a wind generator on their boat, they could have more “positive” amps feeding their batteries during the day and more importantly the night, in order to extend the total run time of the A/C. Many sailboat owners have both solar and wind generators. The downside of a wind generator is that it takes up space in the back and it does make noise at night. Some people don’t mind them though. You can get wind generators that are upwards to 600W, so that’s pretty substantial. That’s about 35% of the A/C + SW pump load in the Wynn’s case, so that would certainly extend their overnight run time. Right now though, with 1200Ah of batteries, they can get away without a wind generator. If you wanted to spend less on batteries and more on generation, wind plus solar is the way to go.

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      • Allan "RocKiteman" Gaines

        This is kinda/sorta related to the boat A/C deal, & involves wind generators.

        A while back, I read something online about a company that offers vertical axis wind turbines that get mounted in pairs on the mast, halfway or more to the mast top.

        Would that kind of setup provide as much electricity as a horizontal-axis turbine?

        {Thanks in advance!}

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  • John Gagnon

    Cross posting from Youtube, didn’t know I could comment here!

    Are you ever in areas with very LOW HUMIDITY? Are swamp coolers an option? Requires water and very low humidity but also very low energy costs. I think you guys might have had one in the RV?

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    • Curious Minion

      To my knowledge they never had a swamp cooler on an RV. I think life on a sailboat in warmer climates means you will have humidity no matter what. I don’t think a swamp cooler would be a good investment.

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  • Dave Hanus

    Another great how you did it video. Thanks.
    Is the Easy Start wired to help with the blower start up as well or is it just wired to assist with the compressor start up?

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  • Brian

    Really enjoyed the last Vbog with the family, one of the best one yet!

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  • Bob Beltz

    Very good evaluation. You can cross check your measurements with the theoretical. All you need is the HP rating of the AC unit. This includes the fans/blowers. Rated Hp is essentially KVA and since you are concerned about amps, simply divide KVA by system volts. Assume a 50 percent duty cycle and now you have amp hours. Amps/2. Now comes the question about battery connection. I am assuming you use a 12V system. If everything runs on 12 v, no problem. If it’s 120vac, your battery load will be 10 times the 120vac current.

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